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January 8, 2013
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You can't legislate common sense

Dear Editor:

I don't have any children, but if I did, they would never attend public school. It's not because I would fear another Sandy Hook massacre. It's because teaching critical thinking and nurturing children to become unique and dynamic individuals is not a major part of public school programing. Putting guards at schools is not the solution to the perceived problem of murderous lunatics targeting children at any given moment.

Allowing teachers to carry guns if they want to is part of our American heritage of protecting ourselves instead of expecting someone else to do the job. The statistical probability of being murdered at school is still incredibly small, yet the overreaction to Sandy Hook is enormous. The powers that be are already busily exploiting the Sandy Hook tragedy to ramrod anti-gun legislation. The strategy is to incrementally outlaw all private gun ownership with steps that seem reasonable on the surface, like banning so-called assault weapons. There's always the misdirection on intent by stating your right to hunt will never be taken away.

The unalienable right to bear arms has zero to do with hunting. Watch out for catchphrases like "getting guns off the street." If I could translate that to what they really mean, it is "taking guns out of the hands of ordinary citizens" because when is the last time you saw someone carrying an M-16 on the street? Getting guns off the street sounds far more reasonable than banning private gun ownership. Banning assault weapons sounds reasonable until there's a Katrina-like event. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin described the hideous violent acts of drug addicts cut off from their usual supply by the hurricane. In a situation like that, assault weapons would be the most effective self-defense there is when no calls to 911 for help will be answered.

If we could just convince all the violent criminals and murderous sociopaths to follow gun-control laws, perhaps gun control could be effective at curtailing criminal gun violence. Expecting the criminally insane to follow laws, new or old, is like trying to teach your dog to drive. You are likely to be very disappointed in the results.

To protect yourself with guns of any type should be a choice as a free American. I don't personally feel the need to walk around armed, but I would never stand in the way of someone else doing so. I don't even own a gun at the moment, but I know how to use them safely and effectively.

When I was 10 years old, I was given a 12-gauge shotgun for Christmas. It was an incredibly lethal weapon, but my father drilled into me proper gun safety. He taught me that guns are like any tool. When used properly, they can provide food on the table or defend your family from attack.

There will always be people who use tools improperly, even insanely so. No law will ever enforce common sense and decency.

Dave Kraft

Snowmass


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The Aspen Times Updated Jan 8, 2013 07:31AM Published Jan 8, 2013 01:25AM Copyright 2013 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.